Miya/LostVilla Hotel: a dialogue between architecture, mountain scenery and people

Miya/LostVilla Hotel is located in the Ninghai County HuChen township. Ninghai is a coastal county in the city of Ningbo, East China’s Zhejiang province. Lying between the Tiantai Mountain and the Siming Mountain, it boasts a beautiful mountainous territory. This hotel by Ares Partners was converted from an old granary station built in 1956. The site consists of six renovated old buildings and one new addition which functions as reception and meeting facility.

The renovation process has taken on a sensitive approach to the surrounding beautiful scenery and the old granary station buildings on site. To convert from a storage space to a place where human comfort is in demand was quite a challenge for the architects. Their design approach was to engage a dialogue between the old and new buildings on site, as well as a dialogue between architecture, mountain scenery and people.

Five of the seven existing buildings were built of stone masonry. All windows were very small in size and located 2.5 meters above ground. The lower part of the building facade is made of rock stone and the upper part is made of brick. They are linked by a continuous cement ring beam. All small windows are located at the upper part of the façade. Based on the new guest room plan, Ares carefully selected windows to be enlarged in width as well as in height. This was to minimize the opening cuts in the stone masonry exterior façade, but meanwhile to allow more natural light to penetrate into the interior space. The original façades made of natural stone were covered with thick layers of white paint. After carefully removing the paint, the beautiful stone masonry façade revealed its original condition.

The existing building structure has been kept. Two of the seven buildings had beautiful timber wood structure. The architects removed the false ceiling to allow wood structure to be exposed. Steel I-Beams were added either to reinforce the existing structure or to act as a channel to hide all the utility pipes and conduits.

New interior demarcation walls were added to create twenty one guest suites. New bathroom facilities were also added to each guest suite. These new space were created as “boxes nesting inside a room”. The height for each box was controlled between 2.5 meter and 2.8 meter in order to bring the scale of the interior space closer to the perception of human body.

New decks and sun rooms were added to the smallest building on site. The oblique lines of the edge of the deck create various view points for hotel guests to appreciate the breathtaking mountain view.

The seventh building which was built in the 70s has been demolished and a new building was designed within the peripheral of the original building envelope. This new building is located in between two old stone masonry buildings. The design approach was to make the building form as abstract as possible. The south façade of the building is directly facing the hotel’s main entry. The architects wanted the hotel guests to see the mountain scenery in the distance upon entering. After studying the site condition carefully, they determined the southern façade height being at 4.85m and the northern side at 7.1m. The east facade of the new building folds into an angle to echo the existing site condition. By bending and setting it back, it creates a space for people to linger around. A secondary passage way has been added between the west façade of the new building and the existing building. A stair by the west facade leads to the tea room and viewing deck on second floor. Large glass panels have been used on the north and south façade of the tea room to maximise the view of the mountain scenery around.




Design and info © Ares Partners

Images © Shengliang Su

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